Hitmakers, appropriately, starts off to the tune of the Drifters classic “This Magic Moment,” which was written by the Brill Building team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The in-depth documentary then details one of the most fertile periods of American popular music – and a singles-driven market where super-talented teens could write a song one day, demo it the next, and see it released two weeks later.
It has come to be known as “Brill Building Pop,” but it encompasses doo-wop, R&B, and particularly the “girl group” rock’n'roll era so closely associated with legendary indie labels like Scepter and Red Bird – and, of course, the Brill Building songwriters, including renowned producers Phil Spector and Shadow Morton.
As Stoller notes, the Brill Building was “filled with music publishers, copyists, bandleaders, little mini-recording studios for demos, offices, and so on. There were offices [with] pay phones on the wall, because they didn’t have enough credit for a phone line – and guys whose offices were the phone booths on the street at 50th and Broadway. But there was a real community.”
A two-hour A&E special.